Biologist examining the condition of the forest and trees

New appointments to the Adaptation Committee of the Climate Change Committee

Professor Nathalie Seddon, Dr Ben Caldecott and Dr Swenja Surminski have been appointed to the Adaptation Committee of the Climate Change Committee by Defra and the Devolved Administrations.

The Adaptation Committee is made up of experts in the fields of climate change, impacts, science environmental economics, conservation, public health and business, and helps give expert advice in adapting to climate change to UK and devolved governments and parliaments.

The appointments will begin on the 1st May 2022 until the 30th April 2025.

Professor Nathalie Seddon

Currently Professor of Biodiversity and Founding Director of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative in the Department of Biology at the University of Oxford, Professor Seddon has over 25 years of research experience in a range of ecosystems across the globe.

She also holds a host of other positions, including Director of the Agile Initiative at the Oxford Martin School and co-Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery.

Professor Seddon, who will be taking on the role of natural environment and agricultural lead, said:

“It is a great honour and privilege to be taking up the role of Natural and Environment Lead on the Adaptation Committee, a position once held by the late Dame Georgina Mace.

An inspiring colleague and mentor, Georgina was the leading light on the fundamental importance of biodiversity for human wellbeing. I want to ensure that we build on her great work and realise her vision, with a focus on how best to scale up nature-based solutions to address climate change and biodiversity loss in the UK.”

Dr Ben Caldecott

Dr Caldecott is the founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group and the inaugural Lombard Odier Associate Professor of Sustainable Finance at the University of Oxford.

Established in 20121 by UK Research and Innovation. He is the founding Director and Principal Investigator of the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment. This was established as the national centre to accelerate the adoption and use of climate and environmental data and analytics by financial institutions globally.

Dr Caldecott will be leading on economics and natural capital and spoke about the benefits of having such a committee in existence:

“Adaptation investments reduce knowable (and unknowable) future damages from climate impacts, and adaptation investments today can deliver growth, improvements in productivity and potential “win-wins” for climate mitigation and nature recovery. Integrating climate risk into economic and financial decision-making across society is essential for these productive and necessary investments into our national resilience to materialise.”

Dr Swenja Surminski

Dr Surminski has been the Head of Adaptation Research at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics since 2017 where she oversees research projects on climate risk management, finance and resilience strategies.

With a role as Chair of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative and as a member of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, Dr Surminski has recently accepted a role as Managing Director Climate and Sustainability at Marsh McLennan. He work focuses on capacity building and knowledge transfer between science, policy and industry, building on her work in industry and as advisor to governments, private sector and civil society, including as Visiting Academic at the Bank of England.

Dr Suminski will take on the role of leading the Committee’s work on addressing climate change risks to business and industry. She said;

“I am very excited to join the AC at this important time, when the need for adaptation is still growing, but action including public and private investment still lagging. Climate change impacts are getting worse, and also increasing complex and more difficult to manage…

For many years I have been a close collaborator of the AC, including as lead author of the UKCCRA2 and 3. I am very grateful for all the support and guidance, including from my predecessor Rosalyn Schofield.”


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